Nothing defines a successful business more than devoted customers. If you want to grow your business and perpetuate its life for years to come, it’s important that your lead capture strategies involve impressing your prospects as soon as they discover your existence.

Consider the following tactics that will leverage lead generation while converting prospects into fans, who will eventually help your business flourish by bringing in referrals:

Attracting Leads

First thing you need to do is get people to notice you. Knowing how to leverage lead magnets to attract prospects will give your small business a competitive edge. This is especially true when you understand the needs and motivations of your target audience, helping you create powerful lead magnets.

Firstly, ensure your website provides valuable content that will capture the attention of your leads upon entering. Some great examples include:

·        Webinars

·        Infographics

·        Podcasts

·        Guides

·        Virtual conferences/events

·        Visual commerce

·        White papers

·        Ebooks

·        Surveys/quizzes

·        Product descriptions with purchase links

·        Blog posts

·        Demo videos

Entice your leads to access your content, then collect their contact information with a submission form by programming an interstitial, or a pop up, on your landing page. If the content is gated with a form to collect their email address, the lead will populate the form to access said content. Then, be sure to store their information into a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system like Keap’s so you can stay in contact with leads and nurture your relationship with them over time.

Introductory Offers

Advertising and offering introductory deals to your leads is not only a great way to make a memorable first impression, but it is an affordable tactic for any business. Find your best-selling product or service by looking at positive testimonials or customer feedback on your review sites. Then, offer a substantial discount. Consider the following examples:

·        The first month of their membership/subscription is free

·        If they buy one product, they’ll get the second one free or at a discount

·        Offer 0% interest on financing if they purchase by a certain time

·        Make the first few sessions of a service free

You could also create an exchange program, where you offer a free product or service to a lead who takes a specific action such as liking your page on Facebook, following you on Twitter or Instagram, relinquishing their contact information (email, phone, etc.), telling their friends about your business, etc.

Sweepstakes and Promotions

People love free stuff, so why not grab their attention by giving something away? Entice leads by presenting free swag. If you own a camping store, for example, offer a bonus product with their first purchase such as a free thermos, pop-up tent, fishing rod, knapsack, cooler, etc. and be sure that each item has your company logo printed somewhere on it. Then the customer is happy and you just signed your company up for some free advertising.

Photo and Video Contests

There is so much you can do with photo and video content now with the rise of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. With these platforms, you can create clips and footage that are fun and relatable.

That being said, you can launch a contest that requires your leads to upload a photo or video to one of your social media platforms’ apps for a chance to win a free product or service from your company. Suggest posting a cute photo or video with your pet in exchange for free treats, or submit an image or footage of you making your favorite meal for a chance to win a gift card to your favorite food establishment or grocery store. Enable voting so that each contestant shares their photo or video entry (and as a result, shares your business) with their friends and followers.  

The best part is these strategies don’t require a big budget nor are overly difficult to execute. It’s definitely an effort of trial and error, so just create a marketing strategy that is simple and consistent with your brand. Soon you will find the ideal strategy that’s a great fit and will help your business grow.

Turn Followers into Revenue

It’s no secret that social media marketing has become exponentially more crucial in lead generation processes within the past few years. It plays a dominant role in digital marketers’ budgets and strategies.

The introduction of affordable social media marketing tools has helped streamline the process of creating an attractively designed presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, YouTube, or any other platform that would be the most conducive for your business. It’s not just enough to be present on social media, your brand has to establish a following that is actually influential in your industry.

The goal is to accumulate a significant number of likes and followers on social media in order to get exposure. Once you do start to see an increase in fans and engagement, it’s important to implement a solid social media marketing strategy to hold their interest.

This can be accomplished for small businesses by capturing leads’ attention in the following ways:

·        Increase engagement by posting content your audience will find helpful or interesting

·        Use hashtags on a trending topic

·        Find an influencer who will speak highly of your brand

·        Be consistent with posting content

·        Go live to keep your audience engaged and invested

·        Be authentic

·        Keep promotions and sales posts to a maximum of 20% of your content mix

Impress Your Leads

Once you’ve generated enough interest in your product and brand, this is your chance to go above and beyond for your leads. Lead generation involves running an organized and efficient operation, making it easier for customers to work with you, keeping you reliable, approachable and top of mind.

Here are some ways to really impress your leads by improving the customer experience:

1. Make subsequent interactions just as smooth as the first–keep your standards consistent so your customers know what to expect every time and can associate your brand with top-notch service from the very first time they ever approached your store or your website.

2. Find every possible solution–you’re there to solve their problems, so it’s important to become a master of troubleshooting. If one product isn’t a good fit for your customer, try another. If nothing works, don’t force the issue or make them feel pressured. They will remember you for it.

3. Eliminate poor communication habits–If someone calls your place of business and you know you’re going to have to place them on hold, offer to call them back instead of making them feel neglected. If an item is going to be delayed, send a courtesy message to the customer letting them know and offer to waive the shipping fee.

4. Give your customers a seamless experience–customers always want a hassle-free experience when doing business with you, make it as pleasant as possible while trying to fulfill their needs.

5. Let your personality shine through–hold your entire team to a certain standard of customer service, even if you, as the business owner, are not there. Make it so no one ever has to ask to “speak to the manager” because something went wrong.

To give your business a competitive edge, you should always aim to do something unexpected beyond good customer service. If you’re a realtor, surprise your clients on their one-year anniversary of living in their home with flowers and a card. Or record all of your customers’ birthdays in your CRM and automate birthday emails to be sent out.

Create Brand Loyalty

One common mistake businesses make is treating their leads to introductory offers and free products, but once they become established customers, those efforts on behalf of the company seem to disappear, devoting all their attention to lead generation and not nurturing their existing customers.

Instead, establish a loyalty program, showing your leads the advantages they will receive in exchange for their devotion to your brand after their initial interest or purchase. It’s important to implement loyalty programs for your most devoted customers to keep them coming back and not wanting to switch to a competitor due to lack of good service or appreciation. Sure, you want to put your best foot forward for your leads, but those leads become customers who breathe life into your business, it’s important that they never feel neglected.  

Loyal customers, also known as brand ambassadors, are spending money with your business regardless, so why not have a loyalty program in place? It can also impact the way they consume and how frequently.

It’s also important to add incentives and upgrades throughout the duration of a customer’s loyalty program to increase the likelihood that they will remain loyal to your brand. For example, if they’ve spent a certain amount or accumulated a specific level of points, upgrade them to gold status.

The Takeaway

The road from lead generation to brand ambassador could be a long one, it’s not always an overnight process, in fact, it shouldn’t be. Nurturing your customers takes much effort–you definitely get what you put into it. It’s best just to be patient, keep serving new and existing customers the best way you know how and watch your business thrive.   

As the CEO of Keap, Clate Mask leads the company’s vision, strategy and growth. His entrepreneurial spirit was sparked early in his career and evolved into the software industry while he was at About.com. Clate then co-founded Keap (formally Infusionsoft) to help small businesses succeed with smart marketing automation tools created just for them.

Lead generations stock photo by Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock